The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced the opening of a call for interest (CFI) for UN member states, including Australia, to provide a landing site for SNC’s Dream Chaser on its return from a mission expected around 2024.
UN member states will have the chance to apply to provide payloads or experiments to be accommodated on the mission, giving them the chance to fly them in low-Earth orbit via the SNC's Dream Chaser.
Selected payloads must contribute to the attainment of one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). UNOOSA and SNC are currently working on the announcement of opportunity for this chance to provide experiments.
The Dream Chaser can carry a variety of payloads, such as individual powered, pressurised payloads, externally mounted payloads and externally deployed payloads, like CubeSats.
For this mission, the team is targeting to support a combination of 35 payloads, but a final decision will be made following the evaluation of the submissions.
Director of UNOOSA Simonetta Di Pippo said, "This collaboration with SNC is part of UNOOSA Access to Space 4 All Initiative, which includes research and orbital opportunities for UN member states to access space through partnerships with space agencies, private companies and a research centre. UNOOSA will continue to build and expand the initiative to ensure that the benefits of space, in particular for sustainable development, are truly accessible to all."
As part of UNOOSA's Access to Space 4 All initiative, this opportunity will provide teams from all over the world with the chance to launch their experiments in orbit free of charge, fostering technological learning and capacity-building. This will also be the first ever space mission dedicated to the SDGs.
SNC owner and CEO Fatih Ozmen said, "It's a rewarding mission SNC is proud to be a part of. This mission is designed to provide developing countries that have limited or no access to space an opportunity to become space faring."
The CFI, open until 30 April 2020, can be found here.
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